Donald Clark Osmond (Donny), a member of the world-renowned Osmond Family, is the seventh child born to the late George Virl Osmond, Sr., and the late Olive May Davis Osmond on 9 December 1957, in Ogden, Utah. His siblings are Virl, Tom, Alan, Wayne, Merrill, Jay, Marie, and Jimmy. He is also a devout member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Donny began his career singing with his brothers as a child and became a breakout teenage heartthrob. He rose to fame with hits like “Puppy Love,” “Go Away Little Girl,” and “Too Young.” At the young age of five, he and his siblings — Alan, Wayne, Merrill, and Jay — appeared on the Andy Williams Show and immediately became an audience favorite. When he was 13, he had four top 10 singles on the radio. In 1971, at the age of 14, Donny released his debut singles as a solo artist and started performing around the world. His debut single, “Sweet and Innocent,” reached number seven on the Billboard Hot 100 and made him a teen pop star. By the time he was 17, he had 12 top 40 hits, either solo or with his brothers. He has now been performing and entertaining audiences worldwide for almost 60 years.
From January 1976 to May 1979, Donny and his sister Marie entertained audiences on their weekly Friday night ABC prime-time television show, Donny & Marie. The show was created by the Canadian sibling team of television creators and puppeteers, Sid & Marty Krofft, and garnered 14 million viewers at its peak. Donny was 18 when the show first aired, and Marie was 16. Tiger Beat created an auxiliary publication, Donny & Marie magazine, dedicated entirely to the private lives of the two teen stars. He was barely 23 when he was asked to perform at Ronald Reagan’s inauguration.
In September 2008, Donny and Marie took to the stage together once again under the banner of Donny & Marie at the Flamingo Las Vegas Hotel and Casino. What was initially intended to be a six-week run turned into an overwhelmingly successful 11 years, 1,730 performances, and north of 9 million tickets sold. The dynamic brother-sister duo gave their final bows on 16 November 2019, with their signature signoff, singing, “May tomorrow be a perfect day. May you find love and laughter along the way. May God keep you in his tender care, till He brings us together again. Good night everybody!”
Now, according to Deseret News, the legendary crooner is about to go it alone with a new residency in Las Vegas at the newly refurbished Harrah’s on the Strip. This has started Donny thinking about the many different eras of his life. He wanted a way to condense all the different eras of his career into one performance. The performance would include everything from his early days on The Andy Williams Show in the ’60s through his rise to intergalactic stardom in the ’70s to his stark fall from public favor in the ’80s to his dramatic return to the top of the pop charts. He also wanted to include being a successful contestant on Dancing with the Stars and The Masked Singer (he was the peacock).
He came up with the incredible idea that the best way to recap the highs and lows of his music career — would be through rap. His plan is to rap for six minutes about his six decades in music. He calls it “Six in Six.” Deseret News describes the rap as “kind of amazing, in that not-sure-if-it’s-OK-to-laugh sort of way. It is OK to laugh, it turns out.”
Deseret News reports that working on the new show has made Donny “a little introspective, almost philosophical. More than anything, it’s making him think about his own identity.” He says that the new show is a chance for him to tell himself who he is. He commented, “Who am I? I was a little kid on The Andy Williams Show. Then I was this little kid singing “One Bad Apple.” Then I am this little, teeny bopper on fan magazines. Then Donny of Donny and Marie is the Sonny Bono, the fall guy, the stupid guy. . .. All these different personalities, and so many different careers. Who am I?”
In 1982, at the age of 24, Donny hit a real low point in his life. He starred in the Broadway revival of Little Johnny Jones, the turn-of-the-19th-century musical that produced the tunes “Give My Regards to Broadway” and “The Yankee Doodle Boy.” The revival was over after one performance, leaving him feeling that his career was over, and that maybe he just was not any good.
In 1988, he debated quitting entertainment entirely and starting a security company in Utah. He thought that was possibly the only way that he could provide for his family. Around the same time, he recorded the song “Soldier of Love,” which was a top 30 hit in the United Kingdom, but at the beginning of 1989 it was not even for sale in the United States.
Several program directors at pop radio stations around the country heard the song and liked it. So, stations played the song without telling the audience the name of the singer. For weeks, as “Soldier of Love” climbed the charts in America, radio hosts encouraged people to call in and guess the identity of the “mystery artist.”
He was finally revealed live on the air at a station in New York. “Soldier of Love” reached No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 that year, and another single, “Sacred Emotion,” made it to No. 13 on the same chart. Donny’s career was officially re-launched with many successes following.
When he is not working on the new show, or his forthcoming 63rd studio album, he spends most of his time behind his house, in his garden. He built a waterfall and a fire pit and planted one fruit tree for each of his grandkids. And because he loves grapes, he has even started a vineyard.
Donald Clark Osmond has been married to his wife, Deborah (née Glenn) Osmond of Billings, Montana, for 43 years. They were married in the Salt Lake Temple in Salt Lake City, Utah, on 8 May 1978. They have five sons — Don, Jeremy, Brandon, Christopher, and Joshua — and 12 grandchildren, all but two of whom are boys. His house is the general meet up point.
He told Deseret News, “I’ve learned something interesting in my life. Show business can really beat you up and consume you completely. And it will just take you away from the important things. . .. I find it so necessary to just balance my life.” Just as the title of his book which was published in 2005 reads, he has learned that Life is Just What You Make It.